Don't get me wrong, the power pose is important. Oftentimes we become what we embody. Yet, it serves us only for short lived occasions. Besides the power pose, the traditional source of confidence and therefore courage has come from holding on dearly to the certainty of a single, firm point of view.
In her book "Teaming to Innovate" Harvard professor Amy C. Edmondson says: “ groups that end up innovating effectively…find ways to integrate their different perspectives so as to create brand-new possibilities”. In a world where the inclusion of multiple voices and innovation are deeply interrelated and needed – a firm rigid point of view is no longer holding water – it’s so 20th century.
The ability to listen, to be changed by multiple points of view and to help integrate them with agility is the epitome and holy grail of 21st century leadership.
Yet self-confidence is still needed as a source for courage in decision making, when navigating such uncertain waters. So where then to anchor the creative confidence required by the 21st century workplace? In the deep awareness and acceptance of our core or our "leader within": our unique combination of values which attribute meaning to our experiences, a sense of purpose, a sense of highest potential, as well as an awareness of patterns of limiting beliefs.
This self-understanding and ultimate self-acceptance plays out in the most practical sense possible to boost our confidence in decision making and working with others, at work and in career design: we are able to be flexible and accept alternative perspectives – knowing all too well the guardrails our values and sense of purpose provide to keep us expressed and coherent.
For example, as you discuss the outline of a presentation with your colleague – he or she may propose a new, more concise approach than what you have put out. You move past the need to rigidly stick with your original idea to maintain confidence in your abilities because understanding your "leader within" - your values, your sense of purpose etc. - give you courage to accept their different approach as better. You can do this because deeply knowing your "leader within" helps you bypass casting the shadow of other’s momentary perception, whether real or not, onto your identity.
Conversely – when the alternative solution goes against one of your values – say “truth” – you find courage and confidence to speak up and request that more nuanced explanation is needed, whether asking to stick with your approach or blending approaches with your colleague.
This deep self-understanding and articulation of values and purpose provide not only a deeper sense of confidence but also acts with gravitational force to pull you into action and learning, on a path of self-actualization.
I encourage this self-exploration for everyone – as the anchor point and the compass for creative, adaptable confidence required in today's inclusive, growth oriented workplace. Reach out to me to explore and build your compass for creative confidence.
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